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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday June 29, 2021

 
Venus Williams

41-year-old Venus Williams powered past Mihaela Buzarnescu to book a spot in the second round at Wimbledon for the 20th time.

Photo Source: GEtty

Pundits have been counting her out for the better part of the last decade, but the message from Venus Williams is always crystal clear: She’ll decide when her career is over, and until then she’ll be on the court battling for wins at the highest level.

Tennis Express

On Tuesday Williams, making her 23rd Wimbledon main draw appearance, edged Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to book her spot in the second round, where she will take on Ons Jabeur of Tunisia.

The American, who ranks fourth in all-time Open Era Wimbledon main draw wins with 90 (90-17) behind only Martina Navratilova (120), Serena Williams (98) and Chris Evert (96), cracked ten aces and 33 winners to earn her 271st lifetime win at the majors.

After the match Williams was asked what it meant for her to nab another win at Wimbledon, her favorite place to play. By the end of her response, she got to the point.

"Yeah, it's never easy," she said. "I played my opponent today, she played really well. Some really inspired tennis. Also playing against a lefty is never easy. I think they're probably used to playing against righties, but we're not really used to playing against them. Yeah, that was a challenge as well, especially first match.

"I don't remember the question, but everybody likes winning."

No player, male or female, has made more Grand Slam main draw appearances than the 90 that Williams has amassed since her Grand Slam career started in 1997.

What keeps Williams motivated?

"I don't know. I answer this question a lot," she said. "You know, good at what I do. You can't win them all. Life is about how you handle challenges. Each point is a challenge on the court. No one gives you anything. I like to think I handle my challenges well."

The five-time champion and six-time doubles champion can certainly use the victory. Her ranking has dipped to 111, making it difficult to enter tour-level tournaments without wild cards.

Williams will face Jabeur for the first time in her next match. The Tunisian, seeded 21, was invincible on serve on Day 2. She won all her first-serve points and dropped just six service points overall in defeating Rebecca Peterson 6-2, 6-1.

Recently Jabeur became the first Arab woman, and first Tunisian, to ever win a WTA title.

Williams the great inspirer admitted to being inspired herself by that.

"She's inspiring all kinds of women, including me," she said. "When I see her winning, I'm very happy for her. I'm proud also. Obviously we play now, so of course I'd like to win. But there's only great things ahead of her."

More to follow….

 

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